Russian Church breaks with foreign churches over same-sex marriage


Eastern Europe


The Russian Orthodox Church has broken relations with foreign churches that leave the traditional view of marriage. Photo AFP, Natalia Kolesnikova

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has cut off ties with Western churches that have abandoned traditional marriage.

One of these churches is the Church of England. The church has parted from its calling by making the move to bless same-sex couples while still acknowledging in its doctrine that marriage is between man and woman. Thas says Hieromonk Stefan Igumnov, who acts as the Secretary for Inter-Christian relations of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) said to RIA Novosti.

The ROC has also expressed that many mainline churches in the West are embracing LGBT ideology and gender neutrality within their churches. The RIA Novosti report also cited a Guardian article that described the Church of England’s attempts at creating “gender-neutral” terms for God and an upcoming gender language project.


Igmunov also said that the Church of England could not return to its Biblical principles of family and marriage.

“Today, Christians in Europe face a huge challenge related to the need to resist the pressure of liberal ideology and attempts to bring a liberal agenda into church life. This is especially true for churches that are historically affiliated with the state in one way or another. A number of Protestant communities in the West did not survive this test; in them, there was a departure from basic Christian moral principles, and the most liberal phenomena were legalised, concerning the complete distortion of the traditional understanding of marriage and family.”

While not all congregations embrace LGBT ideals, the Church of England continues to make compromises. Igmunov said in another RIA Novosti article that such actions make their overall message unclear while overriding any alternative positions.

“The Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury coordinating its activities, on the one hand, are forced to follow the liberal agenda characteristic of today’s Western Europe, especially Great Britain. On the other hand, it is difficult for them to ignore the opinion of the majority of churches that are part of the Anglican Communion along with the Church of England. This, first of all, the Anglican churches in Africa and South Asia.”

Other breaks

According to the Union of Orthodox Journalists (UOJ), the ROC has also decided to sever ties with communities from the Lutheran Churches of Sweden, Norway, and the Anglican-based Episcopal Church of the US.



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